Over the course of two days, from Jan. 26 to 28, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a total of 12 bipartisan bills aimed at combating human trafficking worldwide. Together, they tackle the issue from multiple angles, including prevention, prosecution of pimps and buyers of sex, and institution of more extensive victim services. All of these bills are now heading to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
We commend the House for taking this important step towards addressing commercial sexual exploitation, especially with the passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act; the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act; and the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act. Many of the dozen bills focus on generating new funding systems for victim services, expanding reporting and training, and targeting buyers of children for sex.
We urge the Senate to carefully consider these bills and pass strong legislation that will effectively tackle human trafficking with comprehensive tools. In particular, we call on the Senate to focus on strengthening laws that hold accountable buyers of sex — who fuel sex trafficking — and provide meaningful services for victims.
The 12 bills:
- H.R. 181 – Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) & Carolyn Maloney (D-NY))
- H.R. 159 – Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) & Gwen Moore (D-WI))
- H.R. 469 – Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA))
- H.R. 350 – Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) & Doris Matsui (D-CA))
- H.R. 468 – Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims for Youth Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV))
- H.R. 246 – To improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking (Sponsored by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH))
- H.R. 398 – Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) & Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL))
- H.R. 460 – Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC))
- H.R. 285 – Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO))
- H.R. 514 – Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ))
- H.R. 515 – International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ))
- H.R. 357 – Human Trafficking Prevention Act (Sponsored by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY))